25 episodes

Conversations with leaders in biotechnology, medicine, environmental science, bioinformatics, marine and synthetic biology, health policy and law, consulting, venture capital and more to highlight interesting and growing fields in science. The goal is to help introduce undergraduate students in biology-related programs to the many paths available to them. You can reach out to us here: spindlepodcast.com

Spindle Spindle

    • Business

Conversations with leaders in biotechnology, medicine, environmental science, bioinformatics, marine and synthetic biology, health policy and law, consulting, venture capital and more to highlight interesting and growing fields in science. The goal is to help introduce undergraduate students in biology-related programs to the many paths available to them. You can reach out to us here: spindlepodcast.com

    18. Critical Analysis in Graduate School, Chemical Engineering, and Life Science Education with Patrick Diep

    18. Critical Analysis in Graduate School, Chemical Engineering, and Life Science Education with Patrick Diep

    From applying a transdisciplinary approach to synthetic biology education with CSBERG, to co-founding Indus, a start-up that 3-D prints hydroponics soil, Patrick Diep is deeply invested in the start-up world and life science education. He’s currently a fifth-year chemical engineering PhD student at UofT, and previously attended the biochemistry co-op program at Waterloo for his undergrad.

    On this episode, Patrick talks about developing critical analysis in graduate school, specializing vs generalizing, transitioning from biochemistry to chemical engineering, and his thoughts on how life science education can be improved.

    Producer: Jay

    Timestamps:

    (1:37); Introduction and background

    (2:36); How the PhD experience changes over time

    (4:30); iGEM and Indus

    (5:38); Interdisciplinary and collaboration

    (9:27); CSBERG

    (12:08); Getting involved with synthetic biology as an interdisciplinary student

    (15:55); Reconciling interdisciplinarity with specialization

    (17:35); Critical analysis and the case for graduate school

    (22:22); Life sciences education

    (35:47); Taking gap years before graduate school

    (37:28); Co-Founding Indus and conversations you need to have before graduate school regarding commercializing research

    (42:35); Why chemical engineering?

    (46:29); Advice for students in science

    • 48 min
    17. Building a Company in Undergrad with Scatr Co-Founder Ari Forman

    17. Building a Company in Undergrad with Scatr Co-Founder Ari Forman

    From winning the first-place 1-million-dollar prize at a Health Canada competition to building a drug testing device to help combat the opioid epidemic. On this episode of Spindle, Ari Forman, co-founder of Scatr, talks about the company’s founding story. He speaks about prototyping and iterating on ideas as an undergraduate student, the challenges he has faced so far, and how he’s liking the molecular genetics graduate program at UofT.

    Producer: Jay

    Timestamps:

    (2:40); Founding story

    (8:48); The ideation process

    (10:47); Credibility as an undergraduate student

    (13:09); Prototyping

    (15:12); Failures and challenges along the way

    (17:56); Validating ideas

    (20:53); Balancing Scatr with school

    (22:06); Finding a co-founder

    (25:20); The business-side and fine details

    (27:26); Takeaways

    (30:38); “Perks” :)

    (33:53); Molecular genetics at UofT and the rotation system

    (37:11); Advice for students in science

    (38:21); Reconciling faith and science

    • 43 min
    16. Investing in the Future of Healthcare and Getting into Finance as a Science Student with Jordan Robinson

    16. Investing in the Future of Healthcare and Getting into Finance as a Science Student with Jordan Robinson

    “It basically completely changed the outcome for patients with that type of cancer. That just game changing innovation got me really excited, and I really started thinking that something to do with that is what I want to do.” Jordan Robinson is an associate at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, where he works within the thematic investing group to identify long-term trends and changes in society and invest in the companies that are exposed to/driving those changes.

    Jordan earned a Med Sci/Ivey HBA dual degree, a Master’s in neuroscience, and an MD, all from Western. On today’s episode, Jordan talks about his path to CPP, getting from science to finance, his long-term career philosophy, and what’s next in healthcare.

    This episode was made possible by the generous support of the University Students’ Council at Western University.

    Producer: Jay

    Timestamps:

    (1:46); Introduction and current role

    (4:51); Path to finance

    (17:40); Time spent in school and career philosophy

    (21:18); Merging medicine and finance

    (25:24); Making the switch

    (35:11); Med Sci/Ivey HBA Dual

    (41:01); How science undergrads can figure out if finance is for them

    (49:38); So you know finance is for you, now what?

    (54:42); General advice

    (59:59); Networking

    (1:02:21); Exciting new developments in healthcare

    (1:08:13); Merging tech and bio

    • 1 hr 15 min
    15. Project Management and Veterinary Technician School with Helena Smith

    15. Project Management and Veterinary Technician School with Helena Smith

    From volunteering in an elephant sanctuary to working on the business side of continuing education programs for veterinary professionals, Helena has seen a wide array of opportunities within the realm of animal medicine. The University of Guelph alumna did her undergrad in biological sciences and then chose to attend Vet-Tech School at Sheridan college. In today’s episode, Helena speaks to why she chose to walk away from clinical practice and into a role as a project manager (PM), choosing between veterinary school and veterinary-technician school, and the importance of beginning to network during your undergrad.

    This episode was made possible by the generous support of the University Students’ Council at Western University.

    Producer: Mayuri  

    Timestamps:

    (2:17); Introduction and educational background

    (4:41); Switching gears in your career and finding transferable skills within your degree

    (12:27); Should you stick to a career in science?

    (17:11); Choosing between a DVM (Vet School) and a Vet-Tech Diploma (Vet-Tech School)

    (21:13); Project management vs. clinical practice and how to succeed

    (29:06); Working at an animal sanctuary and wildlife rehabilitation centre in Thailand

    • 34 min
    14. Synthetic biology and getting into a great grad program with Maximillian Soltysiak

    14. Synthetic biology and getting into a great grad program with Maximillian Soltysiak

    Glowing trees? Self-fertilizing plants? Maximillian Soltysiak is a PhD Candidate in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Department at Harvard Medical School. He’s a recent graduate of the Honours Biochemistry and Genetics program at Western. In today’s episode, Maximillian talks about getting great lab experience early in undergrad, building a competitive grad school application, the value of an honours thesis, how he developed an interest for synthetic biology, and how to pick between grad school offers.

    This episode was made possible by the generous support of the University Students’ Council at Western University.

    Producer: Jay.

    Timestamps:

    (1:38); Introduction and educational background

    (2:21); Starting a PhD during the pandemic

    (5:00); Differences in structure between Canadian PhD programs and American PhD programs

    (8:14); Figuring out if a grad program is a good fit for you

    (18:52); Building a competitive grad school application

    (22:06); Should you do an honours thesis?

    (28:06); Maximillian’s undergraduate research experiences

    (39:31); Self-fertilizing plants and glow-in-the-dark trees

    (54:24); Advice for undergrads

    (58:42); What if you get to the end of third-year, have close to no real research experience, and realize you want to go to grad school

    • 1 hr 3 min
    13. Combining Medicine, Tech, and Business to Transform Dementia Care with Rishawn Dindial

    13. Combining Medicine, Tech, and Business to Transform Dementia Care with Rishawn Dindial

    Rishawn Dindial is a MD/MBA candidate at Tulane University in New Orleans. He is also the founder of Memoryz, a software company that aims to revolutionize dementia care. Rishawn earned a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and biology from the University of Toronto in 3 years, and he worked in full-time roles at Uber and Maple before moving to America for medical school.

    In today’s episode, Rishawn talks about his path to medical school, starting a software company without a background in computer science, his plans to build an interdisciplinary career at an intersection of medicine, tech, and business, and more.

    This episode was made possible by the generous support of the University Students’ Council at Western University.

    Producer: Jay.

    Timestamps:

    (2:01); Educational background

    (3:00); Why Rishawn decided to finish undergrad in 3 years

    (5:27); The type of person Rishawn was in undergrad

    (8:50); Mentorship

    (11:38); Working at Uber and Maple

    (16:50); Building a software company without a background in CS

    (19:05); How medicine, business, and tech fit together 

    (21:51); Why an MD/MBA program in America

    (27:36); Founding Memoryz

    (33:36); Managing studying for STEP 1, running a company, and being a full-time MD/MBA student

    (37:37); Things undergrads should pay more attention to

    (42:34); Advice for students in science 

    • 47 min